Sholto Douglas was commissioned in the Royal Field Artillery on the outbreak of World War 1. In 1915 he transferred to the Royal Flying Corps and qualified as a fighter pilot and on one occasion duelled with Hermann Göring.
After the war, Douglas worked briefly for the aircraf manufacturer Handley Page as a test pilot and as a commercial pilot before he joined the Royal Air Force in 1920.
Steadily moving up through the ranks, Douglas was appointed to the air ministry in 1936 and was made assistant chief of air staff in 1938.
During the Battle of Britain Douglas was a firm believer, as Trafford Leigh-Mallory was, that large formations of fighters were the most effective against large German formations. This idea collided however with the opinion of Keith Park and the head of Fighter Command, Hugh Dowding who advocated the use of small fighter groups.
When Charles Portal was made Chief of the Air Staff in October 1940 he supported Douglas, moving Park and Dowding and appointing Douglas to replace Dowding as Air Officer Commanding-in-Chief (AOCinC) of Fighter Command.
In 1942 he was replaced by Leigh-Mallory and was made AOCinC of RAF Middle East in 1943, returning to Britain in 1944 to head RAF Coastal Command.
After the war, Douglas was after Field Marshal Montgomery the second commander of the British Zone of Occupation in Germany. In 1948 he was raised to the peerage as Baron Douglas of Kirtleside.
Douglas retired from the RAF in 1948 and became chairman of the airline British European Airways in 1949 a post he retained until 1964.
He published two volumes of autobiography, Years of Combat, covering the first world war, and Years of Command covering the second.
August 15th, 1914: 2nd Lieutenant
June 9th, 1915: Lieutenant
December 27th, 1915: Temporary Captain
July 1st, 1916: Temporary Major
April 1st, 1918: Temporary Major
November 20th, 1918: Temporary ieutenant-Colonel
March 25th, 1920: Squadron Leader
January 1st, 1925: Wing Commander
January 1st, 1932: Group Captain
July 1st, 1935: Air Commodore
January 1st, 1938: Air Vice-Marshal
November 25th, 1940: Temporary Air Marshal
April 14th, 1942: Air Marshal
July 1st, 1942: Temporary Air Chief Marshal
June 6th, 1945: Air Chief Marshal
January 1st, 1946: Marshal of the Royal Air Force
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